While the winners don’t really get an orange jacket, claiming a win at the Harvey Brock Orange Jacket Junior tournament is a major addition to any golfers resume.
The annual event played at the Pickens Country Club again drew a field of outstanding golfers. On the boys side of the event alone, three state junior champions were among the competitors in an event that features a field as strong as any junior event in South Carolina.
Many of the golfers in both the girls and boys divisions have signed to play college golf and many others will be making college choices in the near future.
This year Savannah Goodman of Easley and Zack Gordon of Gaffney took the top overall honors in the girls and boys competition at the tournament played at the Gaffney Country Club.
Goodman has played in the event a number of times, but this year was her last chance to win the title. She is a senior at Easley High School and will play college golf at the College of Charleston next year.
“This is a tournament I have wanted to win for a long time,” she said. “I have enjoyed playing in it and it was great to finally get a win,” she said.
Goodman shot an opening round 2-over par 74 to hold the first round lead by a shot over Jodee Tindal of Rock Hill. Victoria Huskey of Travelers Rest and Kate Hill of Clemson were two shots behind the leader.
Goodman was never able to pull away from the field and held a one shot lead going to the final hole. She was able to make the lead stand up and took a one stroke victory over Huskey with Tindal in third place three shots behind Goodman.
“I came out today and made some pars on the front and made the turn even. I ended up with a birdie on 18 to finish at 71,” she said. “The whole back nine was really stressful with me Victoria and Jodee all right there,” said Goodman.
This was the Green Wave seniors last chance to win a tournament she has played in for the last six years.
“I’m really pleased. I just stayed patient and took the pars and made some birdies when I had the chance,” said Goodman.
While Goodman was playing in her last Orange Jacket tournament, Zack Gordon was playing in his first event. The Gaffney High School 10th grader became one of only two golfers in the younger boys division to have ever won the overall title.
Only Matt NeSmith, the current SEC individual champion at South Carolina was able to win the overall title from the younger boys group.
Gordon shot a 4-under par 68 in the opening round to hold a one shot lead over the 2015 SCJGA champion Christian Salzer of Sumter and Drew Weary of Bluffton.
“I just made a lot of key putts,” said Gordon. “I had a lot of putts inside of eight feet and I made probably all of them,” he said.
Gordon’s second round was also a 68 as the young golfer handle what could have been a pressure situation like a veteran.
“I really wasn’t nervous. I was just trying to shoot under par and thought it would turn out good,” he said after posting his 136 tournament total.
While there was not one great shot for Gordon in the final round, playing the last 18 holes without a bogey was what helped him to the win in the 15-16 year old division by two shots over Drew Weary of Bluffton.
Salzer and Trevor Phillips of Inman also shot two day totals of 138 and tied for the top spot in the boys 16-18 year old division. Phillips had the best round of the tournament shooting a 5-under par 67 on the final day.
Other age group winners included Mason Tucker of Lancaster and Zach Adams of Seabrook Island who each shot two round totals of 72 to tie for the top spot in the boys 10-12 year old division.
Carly Lyvers of Simpsonville took top honors in the girls 13-15 year old division with a two day total of 3-over par 147. Gracyn Burgess of Lexington and Jensen Castle of West Columbia tied for second one shot back.
In the girls 10-12 year old division Kennedy McGaha of Honea Path finished three shots in front of Chloe Holder of Anderson and Mary Kathryn Talledo of Blythewood.
All tournament scores available at http://www.golfaag.com.
Hear from the boys and girls Orange Jacket winners below